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Online Basic Electronics Program Details

Penn Foster Career School’s Basic Electronics Career Diploma Program consists of ten online study units to help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant to the field. Electronics classes will cover topics such as the nature of electricity, circuit analysis, and alternating current, along with practical exercises in each unit for hands-on experience. Plus, graduates are eligible to sit for the Electronics Technicians Associations International (ETA) Certification Exam!

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

Provide students with the necessary skills for entry into the field of electronics. Upon completion of the course, students will be eligible to sit for the Electronics Technicians' Association International (ETA) Certification Exam.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Identify the schematic symbols of several common electronic components and describe their functions; define terms used in electronics
  • Name several electrical shock hazards, and understand how to prevent electrical shocks through lockout-and-tag procedures, proper procedures, and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Discern the various types of conductors and their conductivity; determine the size of conductor needed for an application; identify types of insulating materials and list their temperature ratings
  • Calculate voltage, resistance, and current in series, parallel, and series-parallel circuits
  • Understand how to use electronics equipment, including multimeters, soldering equipment, and ohmmeters
  • Read circuit diagrams, and analyze basic relay ladder diagrams
  • List the various switch types, their uses, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type
  • Identify many types of wires, cables, connectors, and terminals, and specify the applications for each type
  • Determine the expected resistance of a wire, and estimate the change in resistance that occurs with changing wire characteristics
  • Discern the differences among simple, compound, and closed magnetic circuits
  • Determine the direction of magnetic lines of force around a conductor
  • Calculate the total capacitance of a circuit; calculate the time constant of a resistance-capacitance (RC) or resistance-inductance (RL) circuit; calculate the total inductance of a circuit
  • Explain how inductors are constructed, and describe how an inductor can regulate the flow of current in a DC circuit
  • Describe how diodes and transistors work and how to determine if they're working properly; list uses for diodes and transistors in electronic systems

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
 
  • Explore the fascinating world of technology that’s made possible by modern electronics.
  • Review the use of specialized tools and measuring instruments.
  • Learn about job opportunities in the electronics field and the skills you’ll need to qualify for them.

 
  • Learn what electricity is and how we use it.
  • Read about the dangers and benefits of static electricity.
  • Familiarize yourself with volts, amperes, ohms, and series and parallel circuits.
Practical Exercise 1

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Electronics Practice Kit 1
  • Resistor Color Guide

 
  • Learn about conductors and the types of insulation used to cover conductors.
  • Explore cells and batteries.
  • Read about safety precautions when using storage batteries.
 
  • Read about circuit resistance.
  • Study Ohm’s Law and how it’s used to identify the amount of current, voltage, or resistance.
  • Learn about power and how to take basic meter readings in circuits.
Practical Exercise 2

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Electronics Practice Kit 2
  • Digital Multimeter

Supplements:

  • Circuit Formula Quick Reference Chart
  • Multimeter Operation Manual

 
  • Learn about the use of basic multimeters or VOMs.
  • Study the features, controls, and uses of both analog and digital VOMs.
  • Explore the special accessory probes used with meters to measure current, temperature, and high voltages.
 
  • Study the connectors that join wire or cables to components.
  • Learn how to mount components to various types of circuit boards.
  • Read about the particular types of components and boards that require special attention.
 
  • Explore different types of switches and their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Learn how switches function, and how they’re used in electronic circuits.
  • Read about basic relay ladder diagrams.
Practical Exercise 3

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Electronics Practice Kit 3
  • Soldering Iron
  • Desoldering Pump

Supplement:

  • Soldering and Desoldering

 
  • Learn about natural and artificial magnets.
  • Explore simple, compound, and closed magnetic circuits.
  • Read about simple electromagnetic relays.
  • Study electromagnetism, electromagnetic devices, and electromagnetic induction.
 
  • Learn about how capacitors and inductors operate in DC circuits.
  • Discover how capacitors and inductors are used in many types of industrial power supplies, motor drive systems, and on most industrial electronics printed circuit boards.
 
  • Explore the electronic component called the diode.
  • Study how diodes work and how they’re used in electronic circuits.
  • Learn how to perform some basic measurements in diode circuits.
 
  • Study the construction and function of several basic types of transistors.
  • Learn how to use an ohmmeter.
  • Discover how to perform simple circuit measurements and tests on transistors.
  • Study some basic troubleshooting techniques for electronic circuits that contain amplifying devices.
Practical Exercise 4

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 4

 
  • Explore AC current and how it’s used in the industry.
  • Read about the basic characteristics of alternating current and the values used to describe AC cycles.
  • Familiarize yourself with single-, split-, and three-phase AC current.
 
  • Learn about capacitors and how they function in AC circuits.
  • Discover how to calculate the total capacitance of series- and parallel-connected capacitors.
  • Learn how to calculate capacitive reactance.
 
  • Discover how inductors operate in AC circuits.
  • Understand and calculate impedance.
 
  • Explore the fundamental concepts of transformers.
  • Learn how transformers are used in the transmission of electric power, in the control and signal circuits, and in electronic and radio equipment.
Practical Exercise 5

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 5

 
  • Learn how resistors, capacitors, and inductors are the basic building blocks of all electronic systems.
  • Read about how resistors, capacitors, and inductors behave when connected to form basic circuits.
 
  • Learn how a resonant circuit is a special kind of reactive circuit.
  • Read about how resonant circuits are used in communications, telemetering, filters and oscillators, and in many other applications.
  • Calculate the value of the Quality Factor, Q.
 
  • Explore coupled circuits, traps, filters, and transmission lines.
  • Review some important troubleshooting applications that apply to resonant circuits and other types of circuits.
  • Study the maximum power transfer theorem.
  • Review a number of design equations and design applications.
Practical Exercise 6

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 6

 
  • Study rectification.
  • Learn how different types of power supplies work.
  • Learn some of the important troubleshooting techniques.
  • Explore alternate methods that can be used to determine the current in a circuit.
 
  • Explore amplifiers and how they’re a fundamental component of the communications process.
  • Read about the process of combining relatively simple circuits into complex configurations.
 
  • Learn how the oscillator plays a wide-ranging role in contemporary electronics.
  • Explore how the oscillator can produce one of a variety of output waveforms.
 
  • Explore the field of optoelectronics.
  • Read about components that do similar jobs in different ways.
Practical Exercise 7

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 7

 
  • Learn how electronic sensors are used to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Explore how certain electronic components are used as sensors and as parts in instrumentation and control systems.
 
  • Learn how modulation and demodulation (detection) are functions that make electronic communications both possible and practical.
  • Read about how demodulation is the final link in the information transmission “chain.”
 
  • Study several electronic devices used in industrial electronic systems.
  • Get an in-depth view of the subject of amplification.
  • Learn about electronics diagrams.
 
  • Learn about the basic controls and functions of the oscilloscope.
  • Study the component parts and features of a standard, dual-trace oscilloscope.
  • Learn how to use an oscilloscope to troubleshoot industrial systems.
Practical Exercise 8

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 8

 
  • Study audio frequency (AF), radio frequency (RF), and direct current (DC) signal transmission.
  • Learn about telephone systems, hard-wired systems, and fiber-optic systems.
  • Explore the sound systems used in industrial plants.
 
  • Learn about oscillator circuits.
  • Study how feedback is obtained in an oscillator.
  • Read about several different waveforms, and explain how they’re created.
 
  • Read about how all electrical and electronic systems require a power source.
  • Study the basic operation of DC and AC conversion equipment.
  • Explore some of the basic components and circuits that are used to produce DC power from available AC input sources.
Practical Exercise 9

At this point in your program, you will complete a practical exercise.

Additional Unit Material

Learning Aid: Electronics Practice Kit 9

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

DEAC
MSA
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Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Basic Electronics Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Basic Electronics course would look like.
Basic Electronics Sample Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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